Struggles and Scars

Why would she stay on with an abusive husband?

She's been living with a controlling husband who mentally abuses her in every way. Why does she stay with him?
lady crying

Love turned an independent, intelligent woman into an irrational being

Sometimes we know the truth and yet we can’t do what we should do. Love, often, happens to be the greatest culprit. Whoever said that love was one of the simplest of emotions, was so utterly wrong. It changes the wiring of the most logical of brains and makes them behave irrationally and weakly. If I tell you the story of my friend, you will know what I mean.

This friend of mine, I’ve known her since college days. She met her current husband in college itself. It was a paint-the-town-red kind of passionate affair. So their getting married seemed the only logical conclusion. Both being Bengalis and both being from the same caste, there was also no parental opposition. It was quite a fairy-tale wedding, replete with an array of my favourite non-vegetarian dishes!

Related reading: It was a fairy-tale marriage till…

We lost touch after they moved abroad

Within a year she was blessed with a child and soon after that her husband got himself a job in Canada and so they left. We kept in touch through emails, because international phone calls were still quite expensive in those days. Then time did what it does best – it got us both bogged down with raising a family and earning a living. The communication went down and slowly became abysmally less.

sad women and baby
Representative Image source

This was till a year ago when I got a mail from her that said that she had come back to India. And wonder of wonders – she was in Delhi. We set up a rendezvous at the All American Diners at the Habitat Centre. Something told me it would be a long conversation. I could not have been truer with my prediction. What started in the morning ended late evening and what she said to me during that span of time shocked me.

Related reading: I thought she had a perfect life till she broke down and told me her story

The horrifying secret she told me

They were in their 16th year of marriage and through all these years she had suffered at the hands of this man. Not one incident of physical abuse, but immense mental torture. Right from blaming her for anything that ever went wrong in the household to forbidding her to wear certain kinds of clothes in public. From making her cut off contacts with all her men friends to not letting her talk to her parents on weekends simply because she had to cook for all his friends who were coming over. She went on telling me – incident after incident – and I silently listened to her. Her face was expressionless and calm, while incessant tears rolled down mine.

When she finished, I sat there silently until the waiter came with the bill. The walk outside should have been refreshing, but I felt stifled. My friend answered the questions that were running through my mind.

Why would she stay on with the abusive husband?

“You want to know why such a free spirited and independent thinking person like me is still in this marriage?”

I nodded.

“You want to know why I didn’t tell you about this much earlier?”

I nodded again.

struggle and scars

Her answers had me dumbfounded. She said that she hadn’t opened up to anyone. I had been the first. And this was not because she was scared, but because she wanted to protect her husband. It wasn’t because she was scared of leaving him and starting a new life, but because she still loved him.

“Love? You have got to be insane!” I screamed at her.

She responded with one of the calmest of smiles and a nod in the affirmative.
I had tried to make her see reason and tried to tell her that this was not good for her, but she just refused to listen. How can one reach out and help when the victim is going around wearing rose tinted glasses even after so much abuse?

How can one reach out and help when the victim is going around wearing rose tinted glasses even after so much abuse?

We are still very much in touch, but we never talk about her marriage anymore. It’s a topic left for time to unfold. I can only hope that some day she will realise. Till then all that I can say is that love can indeed make you irrational.

I know I’m being abused but I live in hope

Emotional abuse- 9 signs and 5 coping tips

Why do women stay on in abusive relationships?

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3 Comments

  1. Physical abuse should not invite a second chance…it is unacceptable…and must never be forgiven..

    Yes women tend to stay back even dispite the above and emotional abuse because they are programmed that way and goaded by family and friends to stay put…..

    Where is the love here ???

  2. Abused women find it difficult to leave their abusive relationship. They may have good reasons to leave but they also have reasons to stay which range from fear to limitations imposed on women by dominant societal beliefs.

    A lot of people in abusive relationships stay because they love their partner and think that things will change. They might also believe their partner’s behaviour is due to tough times or feel as though they can change their partner if they are a better partner themselves.

    This is the case in this piece. But I just don’t understand how can a person be in love with someone who just doesn’t care about her partner.

    1. Physical abuse should not invite a second chance…it is unacceptable…and must never be forgiven..

      Yes women tend to stay back even dispite the above and emotional abuse because they are programmed that way and goaded by family and friends to stay put…..

      Where is the love here ???

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